Sketchbooks. They’ve been a part of my life like a security blanket. I used to thumb through the stacked books of my brother and mother; secret spell books containing the elusive methods, magic, genius ideas and imaginations of artists. I was hooked. Still am.
The older I get, the more I regret not keeping better track of the dozens upon dozens of sketchbooks scattered through out my artistic growth, pains, and accomplishments. Oh well. It’s never too late right? Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Blogs, etc…sketchbooks of another kind. We move on, we adapt. It’s out there, for better or worse.
But that paper, those covers and backs, those shittly working but cooler looking glued-back books – they still matter.
My son has me beat on weekly output of drawings, sketches and paintings. The kid has it. On the weekends my wife and I try to work in some “table-time” with him – hours at our dinner room table, drawing from photos, or just monkeying around building things, using the creative problem solving portions of his ever-evolving grey matter. I’m just following the lessons my mom and dad instilled and me and my brother. The dinner table is for two things: eating with family, and making things.
Right now, as I type this, that very same dinner table serves as my work bench. My parents ran it up to our pull-barn when they moved, I grabbed it when I moved back to MN years ago – now it sits in my basement, serving at least one of those critical functions.
I’ve thought about ditching it. Replacing it with a nice, clean, euro-inspired cheapo.
But shit, even though it needs a million wedges to even out, and it’s far from ideal, it’s got that magic, genius ideas and imaginations of artists all over it. It has mojo. My brother and I spent countless hours drawing at that table, and risking our fates on the roll of a 20 sided die from time to time.
Objects have power.
I’ll keep this old table, I’ll keep working the sketchbook, I’ll keep these old world traditions alive and well. If I succeed, my son will remember to keep his sketchbooks, treasure them, and realize he was and always will, create magic.